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Bear Attack

 


Bear Attack

George Ferguson

If the Rocky Mountain College football team was pinning the rest of its season on getting two-time NAIA All-American quarterback Kasey Peters back, then the Bears took a giant first step in showing what kind of team they'll be the rest of the season.

With turnovers and big plays the theme of the day, Peters and the Bears got the last of both in a 34-23 win over the MSU-Northern Lights Saturday at sunny Blue Pony Stadium.

The Bears, behind 318 yards and four touchdowns from Peters, raced out quick, let the Lights back in, then shut the door with two quick fourth-quarter strikes to send Northern to its third straight loss in Frontier Conference play.

But as good a game as Peters had, his third straight 300-yard passing game in Havre, he was quick to credit the resiliency of his defense, and the rest of his team.

"We took a big step today," Peters said. "Northern has always been a tough game for us. But when things got tough today, we didn't fold. The last few times we played up here, when we would fall behind or turn the ball over we would fold. We didn't do that today. Our defense stepped up big against a really good Northern offense. I'm proud of those guys, I'm proud of my team."

On the flip side, the Lights were plagued by costly turnovers for the second straight home game. The turnovers, which came mainly in the first half and led to two of Rocky's first three scores, helped the Bears stake a 20-0 lead. RMC marched on its first drive and scored on a Peters' pass to Nathan Barnett. Then, late in the first stanza, Northern quarterback Derek Lear fumbled and RMC recovered. Just 11 seconds ticked off the clock before the Bears were in the endzone again when Peters hit Barnett on a slant and the speedy receiver did the rest, going 64 yards to put the Bears up 14-0.

"We just can't seem to put it all together right now, for whatever reason," MSU-N head coach Mark Samson said. "In some ways, we played better this week, on special teams, I thought we did a good job. But we gave up too many big plays on defense. There were times when I thought we were doing a good job defending them (Bears). But we just gave up too many big plays, we didn't really ever force them to drive the football, and you can't just keep giving that offense that many chances to be on the field.

"Offensively, we started really slow and that put our defense in some tough situations early," he added. "Then, when we did finally get going, we turned the ball over, had some penalties and just too many mistakes. We put some good drives together, then we would hurt ourselves with mistakes."

George Ferguson — Havre Daily News sports editor

It was an emotional homecoming for the Montana State University-Northern volleyball team. But the final results weren't what the Skylights were hoping for.

Northern had been on the road since Aug. 18 when it finally got to play at home Friday night against the Lewis-Clark State Warriors, but a three-game sweep at the hands of the Warriors, and a disappointing four-game loss to Westminster College on Saturday night dropped MSU-N from second place all the way to sixth in the Frontier Conference standings.

Friday night was not only the return of the Skylights to Havre. The volleyball program, the school and the community paid tribute to the late Shaina Evans. Evans was killed in a car accident last summer, and before Friday night's match, she was honored with the entire crowd wearing pink, the color of "Shaina's Challenge", as well as her No. 17 being retired and a moment of silence. LC State players also wore No. 17 pink ribbons on their shoes to honor Evans.

Once the moving ceremony was over however, and the ball went up, it didn't take long for the Warriors to assert their dominance. Ranked No. 11 in the NAIA, the Warriors quickly took the Skylights out of their offense, and as a result, swept Northern by scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-13.

LC State's serving was a big part of the problem for the Skylights. In just three short games, the Warriors racked up 11 aces, and Northern's block didn't have an answer for Deddiy Alaimaleata, who totaled a quick 11 kills.

"They (Warriors) deserve a lot of credit," MSU-N head coach Bill Huebsch said. "Out of 300-some schools in the country, they are ranked No. 11 for good reason, they are very talented."

Still, the Skylights didn't play as well as they had been playing in the weeks leading up to their homecoming matches. As a team, MSU-N hit just .184 compared to LC's .455 percentage, and the Skylights had just two blocks and 23 digs in the loss. Senior Kaylee Bossert did have a solid outing, leading the Skylights with 12 kills, six digs and a block.

"As good as LC played, we didn't put our best foot forward and that's disappointing," Huebsch said. "I don't know if we can beat them even on our best night, but I do know we didn't play at all like we're capable of against them and that's frustrating."

Northern was also frustrated by game's end on Saturday night. Despite looking like a completely different team when they took game one from the Westminster Griffins, the tide quickly turned and the Skylights wound up dropping three straight games and the match by scores of 21-25, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-21.

If the Rocky Mountain College football team was pinning the rest of its season on getting two-time NAIA All-American quarterback Kasey Peters back, then the Bears took a giant first step in showing what kind of team they'll be the rest of the season.

With turnovers and big plays the theme of the day, Peters and the Bears got the last of both in a 34-23 win over the MSU-Northern Lights Saturday at sunny Blue Pony Stadium.

The Bears, behind 318 yards and four touchdowns from Peters, raced out quick, let the Lights back in, then shut the door with two quick fourth-quarter strikes to send Northern to its third straight loss in Frontier Conference play.

But as good a game as Peters had, his third straight 300-yard passing game in Havre, he was quick to credit the resiliency of his defense, and the rest of his team.

"We took a big step today," Peters said. "Northern has always been a tough game for us. But when things got tough today, we didn't fold. The last few times we played up here, when we would fall behind or turn the ball over we would fold. We didn't do that today. Our defense stepped up big against a really good Northern offense. I'm proud of those guys, I'm proud of my team."

On the flip side, the Lights were plagued by costly turnovers for the second straight home game. The turnovers, which came mainly in the first half and led to two of Rocky's first three scores, helped the Bears stake a 20-0 lead. RMC marched on its first drive and scored on a Peters' pass to Nathan Barnett. Then, late in the first stanza, Northern quarterback Derek Lear fumbled and RMC recovered. Just 11 seconds ticked off the clock before the Bears were in the endzone again when Peters hit Barnett on a slant and the speedy receiver did the rest, going 64 yards to put the Bears up 14-0.

"We just can't seem to put it all together right now, for whatever reason," MSU-N head coach Mark Samson said. "In some ways, we played better this week, on special teams, I thought we did a good job. But we gave up too many big plays on defense. There were times when I thought we were doing a good job defending them (Bears). But we just gave up too many big plays, we didn't really ever force them to drive the football, and you can't just keep giving that offense that many chances to be on the field.

"Offensively, we started really slow and that put our defense in some tough situations early," he added. "Then, when we did finally get going, we turned the ball over, had some penalties and just too many mistakes. We put some good drives together, then we would hurt ourselves with mistakes."

George Ferguson — Havre Daily News sports editor

It was an emotional homecoming for the Montana State University-Northern volleyball team. But the final results weren't what the Skylights were hoping for.

Northern had been on the road since Aug. 18 when it finally got to play at home Friday night against the Lewis-Clark State Warriors, but a three-game sweep at the hands of the Warriors, and a disappointing four-game loss to Westminster College on Saturday night dropped MSU-N from second place all the way to sixth in the Frontier Conference standings.

Friday night was not only the return of the Skylights to Havre. The volleyball program, the school and the community paid tribute to the late Shaina Evans. Evans was killed in a car accident last summer, and before Friday night's match, she was honored with the entire crowd wearing pink, the color of "Shaina's Challenge", as well as her No. 17 being retired and a moment of silence. LC State players also wore No. 17 pink ribbons on their shoes to honor Evans.

Once the moving ceremony was over however, and the ball went up, it didn't take long for the Warriors to assert their dominance. Ranked No. 11 in the NAIA, the Warriors quickly took the Skylights out of their offense, and as a result, swept Northern by scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-13.

LC State's serving was a big part of the problem for the Skylights. In just three short games, the Warriors racked up 11 aces, and Northern's block didn't have an answer for Deddiy Alaimaleata, who totaled a quick 11 kills.

"They (Warriors) deserve a lot of credit," MSU-N head coach Bill Huebsch said. "Out of 300-some schools in the country, they are ranked No. 11 for good reason, they are very talented."

Still, the Skylights didn't play as well as they had been playing in the weeks leading up to their homecoming matches. As a team, MSU-N hit just .184 compared to LC's .455 percentage, and the Skylights had just two blocks and 23 digs in the loss. Senior Kaylee Bossert did have a solid outing, leading the Skylights with 12 kills, six digs and a block.

"As good as LC played, we didn't put our best foot forward and that's disappointing," Huebsch said. "I don't know if we can beat them even on our best night, but I do know we didn't play at all like we're capable of against them and that's frustrating."

Northern was also frustrated by game's end on Saturday night. Despite looking like a completely different team when they took game one from the Westminster Griffins, the tide quickly turned and the Skylights wound up dropping three straight games and the match by scores of 21-25, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-21.

 

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